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DFW Employers Kick Off Project to Improve Health of Area Employees and Their Families

Friday, August 27, 2010 Corporate News J E 4
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Texas Health Strategy Project to promote wellness, prevention and cost control

DALLAS/FORT WORTH, Aug. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Today the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health (DFWBGH) launched a new program to assist employers in coordinating and aligning their health benefits to improve the health of their employees and their families. Initial participating DFWBGH employer members include Archon Group, Brinker International, City of McKinney, City of Mesquite, Energy Future Holdings, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Haggar Clothing Co., Interstate Batteries, and Triumph Aerostructures.

Part of a national effort known regionally as the Texas Health Strategy Project, the program will help area employers implement a value-based approach to benefits design to ensure that their workforce has access to high quality, evidence-based and cost-effective health care by reducing barriers (such as waiving co-pays) to essential services. Participating employers will take part in a structured, guided data-driven process to analyze, design, implement and evaluate value-based benefits design features to motivate their employees to make wise life style and health care decisions.

This Texas Health Strategy Project uses a data model to help employers identify programs that offer high value, promote employee wellness and prevention, manage long-term health care costs and improve the health of employees and their families through benefit design strategies and health improvement programs.

"This effort is a natural next step to further the goals of our community-wide health care improvement initiative, the Partnership for Peak Healthcare Performance," said Marianne Fazen, Ph.D., DFWBGH executive director. "The Texas Health Strategy Project will focus on the role that employers play in influencing employees to choose healthy lifestyles and to demand high quality health care. These efforts are just two of our ongoing initiatives to encourage local healthcare stakeholders to work collaboratively to improve chronic care in the DFW area."

The Texas Health Strategy Project is part of the national American Health Strategy Project, launched by the National Business Coalition on Health (NBCH) in cooperation with Pfizer Inc. The project will provide both hands-on technical and financial support to assist the DFWBGH and their employer members in developing a complementary array of employee health offerings and incentives that better align health promotion and prevention strategies with medical and pharmaceutical plans, and other benefits such as disability, and workers' compensation.

"Employers fund almost 60 percent of health care in the United States, often without understanding how to fully measure the value of their health investments," said Andrew Webber, NBCH president and CEO.  "As health care costs continue to rise, more employers are recognizing the value of tailoring benefits to the health risks within their employee populations. Employers often lack the tools and models needed to collect and interpret data across a broad range of activities to make better and more informed health benefit decisions for their workforce and we hope to help overcome those barriers with this project."

About the National Business Coalition on Health

NBCH is a national, non-profit, membership organization of 60 business and health coalitions, representing over 7,000 employers and 25 million employees and their dependents across the United States. NBCH and its members are dedicated to value-based purchasing of health care services through the collective action of public and private purchasers. For additional information visit: www.nbch.org.

About Pfizer Inc

Pfizer applies its science and global resources to improve health and well-being at every stage of life. Consistent with Pfizer's responsibility as the world's leading biopharmaceutical company, Pfizer also collaborates with health care providers, governments and local communities to support and expand access to reliable, affordable health care around the world. For more than 150 years, Pfizer has worked to make a difference for all who rely on the company. For additional information visit: www.pfizer.com.

About the Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health

The Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health is a 130-member coalition of Dallas and Fort Worth area employers committed to market-based health care reform. Members include American Airlines, Bell Helicopter-Textron, Brinker International, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, Sabre Holdings, Southwest Airlines, Texas Instruments, and others. A member of the Texas Business Group on Health and the National Business Coalition on Health, DFWBGH's goals are to empower employers to make informed health care purchasing decisions and to encourage health care providers to continuously improve their performance.  For additional information visit: www.dfwbgh.org.

SOURCE Dallas-Fort Worth Business Group on Health

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